Dong Mingzhu once suggested legislating to charge employees for training fees, stating that young people should not be self-centered. How do you view this perspective?

According to an Oriental Finance report, since Geli’s internet-famous employee, Meng Yutong, left in May, Dong Mingzhu has publicly expressed dissatisfaction multiple times, believing that Meng Yutong became an internet celebrity by using Geli’s platform. In March of this year, Dong Mingzhu suggested in an interview that legislation should be enacted to charge employees training fees for job-hopping behavior. Dong Mingzhu also emphasized, “Because you worked for me for more than ten years, I nurtured you, and I invested so much financial and human resources and time. You leave after a slap on the butt, then at your next job, you should at least compensate me for the training fees."\nAccording to a report by China Economic Net on December 19th, many people online say, “Dong Mingzhu’s work thinking is old-fashioned, and Dong Mingzhu’s era is completely different from the era of young people today in terms of social background.” In response to this, Dong Mingzhu said in a live broadcast, “What are young people like now? Are they carefree? Do they disregard rules? Do they do whatever they want and put themselves at the center of everything? Then this society will not be harmonious, and individuals who are self-centered are like scattered sand. Many young people I’ve interacted with still have a kind of idealism. Struggling for oneself may not necessarily yield ideal results, but if you have a big heart, care for others, and believe in the future, the world will surely belong to such people.” Dong Mingzhu once suggested legislating to charge employees training fees for job-hopping, stating that young people should not be self-centered.

Are there still companies worried about employees leaving?

I thought it’s all about finding ways to dismiss employees without compensation?

In many companies, there are training agreements in place, especially for those with significant training costs. These agreements often require employees to serve the company for a certain number of years, and early termination may incur penalties.

On the contrary, companies have various means to terminate employees without compensation. While labor laws and employment contracts may seem to protect employee interests, in practice, it can be challenging for employees to enforce their rights.

I believe there have been more arbitration and lawsuits this year compared to previous years, but the outcomes are taking much longer. I’m not sure about other cities, but here, many cases are being delayed. For example, employees who haven’t had their social security contributions for several years receive only one reminder letter. One former employee from my previous company, with three years of service, took one to two months from contacting the labor inspection office to filing a court case. After the court scheduled a date, we waited for over a month, and it’s been half a year since the trial with no resolution.

This is the current state of the workplace. Miss Dong, however, uses the issue of training to suggest that young people shouldn’t be self-centered. Shouldn’t companies prioritize talent?

The relationship between employees and companies should be one of equality and cooperation. If one party wishes to end the partnership, there is clearly an imbalance.

Why is it considered self-centered when employees voluntarily resign? Is there no responsibility on the part of the company? Have they provided reasonable compensation and development opportunities?

When companies consider terminating employees, they may think the employee isn’t performing or the company isn’t doing well, but they often don’t see it as their own problem.

In other words, no matter what happens, it’s always the employee’s fault. If a company consistently maintains this attitude, it’s indeed difficult to establish a long-term working relationship between employers and employees.

## **This is a typical breakup in love, with nauseating demands for compensation for the next partner's youth and love skills training fees. Most people wouldn't even think of doing that!**

Only talking about the costs a company incurs for an employee and not considering the contributions employees make to the company?

Many bosses use this rhetoric, only focusing on how much they’ve invested in an employee.

As for how much the employee has contributed to the company, how much value they’ve created, that is never mentioned.

Even if you single-handedly invented photolithography machines, it’s something you should do, and your achievements are made possible within the framework of the company.

Don’t talk about contributions; they are reflected in your salary.

Employees, learn to be grateful.

Talking about dedication equals being a good employee; talking about income equals being self-centered.

Let’s take Meng Yutong as an example:

You are a recent college graduate, and I hold you in high regard.

The company pays you over ten thousand every month, supporting you financially.

It even provides you with a platform to learn skills, especially the opportunity to learn from industry experts like me, something many people can only dream of.

It also gives you an opportunity for exposure; the company allocates a significant portion of its audience to you, Meng Yutong.

But you don’t want to help the company bring in more business; you just want to gain followers and become an internet celebrity. Is this fair?

Are you giving back to the company for the costs it has incurred for you?

This whole theory, at least in her mind, is entirely self-consistent.

But, on the flip side, do employees receive their salaries and skill training for free?

Is it something they get by lying around and playing with their phones at the company every day?

Of course not. To earn their salaries and bonuses, people like Meng Yutong are definitely keeping their phones on standby 24 hours a day.

If there’s work to be done, let alone working extra hours, they would even find a way to come to the office if a knife fell from the sky.

The relationship between the company and its employees is not a matter of the company being kind-hearted and charitable, bestowing gifts upon employees.

It’s a legitimate business contract; the company invests money to purchase employees' labor.

As for whether the labor employees provide and the contributions they make match up, that’s a matter of perspective.

Market-oriented resource allocation means that if the company believes an employee is not worth the price, they can dismiss them and hire someone else from the market whom they find suitable.

Earning another round of redemption fees from departing employees is indeed a very shrewd move.

Prohibiting job changes is not impossible, but should we also introduce a lifetime employment system to go along with it? Should we implement a seniority-based system that will eventually apply to you?

Establishing a personal dependency relationship between employees and companies is not out of the question, but if we’re going to do it, we should do the whole package. Don’t just pick the parts that benefit you and try to take advantage without consequences. You can’t have all the benefits without paying any price; there’s no logic in that.

In ancient times, servants and large families did indeed sign lifetime contracts, and they were expected to be loyal to the family until death. However, in return, the large family also had a responsibility to take care of the servants until death. Marriage, funerals, weddings, daily necessities, health, aging, sickness, and death, all of these required corresponding support. Even Hamas’s suicide bombers were orphans raised in Hamas’s welfare homes. You can’t expect suicide bombers without providing anything; it’s like you’ve been cheating so much that you don’t know how to play the game normally.

Furthermore, Miss Dong herself complained about her low income back in the day and switched jobs from a chemical research institute in Nanjing to Gree Electric Appliances, which was called Zhuhai Air Conditioning Factory at the time. Since then, she has reached the pinnacle of her life. This is clearly a self-centered act. I suggest that the city of Nanjing charge her for the training fees because her income is now based on a certain percentage of Gree’s revenue over the years.

After all, if it weren’t for the training provided by the city of Nanjing, where would she get the ability to earn so much money? Isn’t that right? In that case, shouldn’t she share her earnings with the city?

In the game of power, there is a scene like this:

Brienne swears allegiance to Sansa Stark, saying:

“I will protect your safety, offer you counsel, and in times of peril, I am willing to give my life for you. I swear in the name of both the old and new gods.”

To which Sansa Stark replies:

“I swear: there will always be a place for you by my hearth, you will drink and dine with me at the same table, and I vow never to compel you to do anything unjust. I swear in the name of both the old and new gods.”

You see, even in feudal societies, when demanding loyalty from subordinates, there are corresponding obligations to ensure their stable lives, and excessive demands are not made.

But those who grow unchecked in the spring don’t care about this. In their eyes, you cannot have any rights, and there are no obligations between us. It’s all mine, and you should be grateful.

Even feudal lords weren’t this ruthless, and they knew that demanding loyalty couldn’t be unconditional. So, if you want young people in this profit-driven world to not be self-centered but put you at the center, what can you offer them?

Lifetime employment? Job security? Housing allocation? Arranging jobs for their children? What about when they get sick? What about when they grow old?

Either you embrace some capitalism, or you go back and learn a bit from the feudal lords. Don’t try to have the best of both worlds and end up being more reactionary than anyone else.

Her way of thinking should resonate quite well with Guo Degang.
Last time when Dong Mingzhu scolded Meng Yutong, I said:

It’s 2023, not 2003. The times have changed dramatically, but Dong’s mindset is stuck in the past.

It seems I was still too conservative.

This mindset should be from before 1983. It’s outdated.

I initially thought that Dong Mingzhu’s repeated comments about young people on various media platforms were for gaining followers and generating buzz.

But now, it appears that it’s not about popularity or attention; Dong’s thinking has genuinely become rigid.

Look at which entrepreneur nowadays continuously posts comments online, taking a stance against young people and workers.

The neighboring Midea has indeed proven the saying: “Silence is golden.”

They even handled the transition of power so discreetly that only internal employees probably know about it.

If you ask people on the street who the current decision-maker at Midea is, maybe only a few out of a hundred will know.

However, they have expanded their factories to many overseas locations and are now investing in the robotics and artificial intelligence industries.

Now, I ask you, new graduates who joined Gree in 2023, are you worried?

Hey, they are going to charge you for the training, or else you can’t leave.

Shouldn’t you be grateful for the training the company has provided you for over a decade?

If this legislation is to be enforced, it should start with the company’s own employees.

Let me share my own story.

When I interviewed for Sony’s Marketing and Operations Promotion department eleven years ago, I asked the HR at Sony a question:

“What kind of growth can I expect here at the company, and can your company provide a platform for my development?”

The Sony HR person smiled at his colleague and replied:

“Little Li, you may be new to the workforce, and there’s still much for you to experience. A company is not a training institution; its primary mission is always profitability.

Whether you can grow, whether you can advance, the company won’t take responsibility for that. It depends on your own efforts, opportunities, and the company’s development.”

It was an eye-opening moment for me.

In just a few sentences, they clarified the relationship between a company and its employees.

It’s the end of 2023, and Dong is still entangled in these issues.

Miss Dong is Gree's Achilles' heel today. Looking back at what she has tried to do over the years, not a single endeavor has been successful.

In the realm of small appliances, it was a failure. Forcing distributors to take shipments led to widespread resistance, and even now, the small appliance sector is struggling.

Venturing into smartphones was another failure. The startup animation associated with Miss Dong still haunts memories, and the phones hardly sold, with the added imposition of mandatory purchases for all employees and distributor shipments.

Investing in new energy was also a failure, and a monumental one at that. Against the opposition of all shareholders, Miss Dong enthusiastically supported Zhuhai Yinlong. Today, after investing billions, the net assets have dwindled to a mere 70 million. To make matters worse, the company continues to pour money into this bottomless pit, contributing to the recent stock price collapse due to undisclosed related transactions. There are valid suspicions that this company might be a tool for certain individuals to drain Gree’s resources.

Furthermore, research and development personnel have been leaving in droves. Last year, top executives, including the company’s second-in-command, collectively departed to form a new company specializing in rebranding Philips air conditioners. The new employee turnover rate is at 35%, and joining Gree requires military-style training.

All of this indicates that Miss Dong is a hero of a bygone era, rather than a figure capable of pioneering a new era. Moreover, Miss Dong possesses an extraordinary desire for power beyond the ordinary. Within the limits of her health, there seems to be no possibility of her passing the torch.

The level of capitalists in China is still lacking, as they seem to operate the market economy with feudalistic ideologies. Not only is the effectiveness compromised, but they also risk ridicule from their peers.

In a slave society, the personal property of slave owners includes labor force. The fruits of labor belong to the slave owner, and even one’s life is controlled by the owner. In such circumstances, slave labor lacks enthusiasm, and creativity is virtually non-existent. Consequently, productivity develops at a sluggish pace.

In a feudal society (according to the definition in our country), landlords rent land to farmers, controlling the most crucial means of production—land. A significant portion of a farmer’s income goes toward rent, making them keenly aware that their output benefits others. This situation reduces their motivation, and landlords often feel that farmers owe them. The idea persists that without landlords renting land to farmers, the latter cannot survive (which may be true). Farmers are attached to the land, and landlords believe they should be under their dominion. Consequently, landlords expect farmers to rely on their generosity. Farmer productivity and creativity remain low, leading to limited development in productivity.

In capitalist society, with centuries of industrialization and development, motivation and creativity in the workforce have reached their peak. Capitalists are not interested in making workers entirely dependent on them. Instead, they focus on maximizing profits. Capital requires mobility and even desires workforce mobility to where it is most needed. This means that workers have the freedom to choose who exploits them, but not the freedom to avoid exploitation. Savvy capitalists make workers not feel like they are being exploited, employing tactics such as employee stock ownership, fostering company culture, encouraging innovation, and retaining upward mobility opportunities for workers—this is modern capitalism.

Starting from here, let’s use a different term for capitalism—market economy.

However, Miss Dong’s approach is not modern market economics but feudalism cloaked in market economics. She still believes that workers owe her, and that workers are dependent on her. She even obstructs the flow of talent. This is outdated and contrary to the flow of the times, and such feudalistic thinking will inevitably be phased out by the era.

As for the proposal to legislate training fees for employees who change jobs, I am at a loss for words. If this happens, do you know what the result will be?

In 2003, director John Woo made a movie called “Paycheck,” starring Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman. The film’s impact was limited, but one aspect of it is highly relevant to our discussion. In the movie, companies of the future require employees to work on projects in isolation and, after completing a project, erase all memories of their involvement to prevent the knowledge and expertise gained from serving other employers……

If there is indeed legislation requiring employees to pay “training fees” to their former employers when changing jobs, it may eventually lead to legislation requiring employees to erase their memories when resigning!

But that’s just absurd!

Sure, I recommend adding a page about charging training fees to employees who change jobs in Gree's ESG report.
Many people criticize American capitalists, but I rarely do.

American capitalists, after all, are capitalists who only care about money. In order to make more money, they will also allow employees to earn money and even actively encourage employees to take vacations and travel. This way, employees will spend money, buy the products produced by capitalists, and ensure the long-term development of capitalism.

On the other hand, in China, most bosses want to be slave owners, fathers, or cult leaders. They want to control you comprehensively, from your physical to your psychological well-being. They push you to the limit, without much concern for long-term consequences, as long as they enjoy the short-term benefits.

Gree Group is a state-owned enterprise under the Zhuhai State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. Several decades ago, Dong Mingzhu was just a junior salesperson in a state-owned enterprise. But now, Gree Electric not only pays her a nine-digit astronomical annual salary, but she also possesses shares in a listed company that originally belonged to state assets. How should we view this phenomenon?

Because you worked for me for over a decade, I nurtured you, invested so much financial and human resources, as well as time. If you leave and move on to the next company, you should at least compensate me for the training expenses.

A person who has worked for a state-owned enterprise for over a decade, nurtured and invested in by the country with substantial financial, human, and time resources, and then leaves with state assets turned into personal wealth, should consider compensating the nation for the training expenses, shouldn’t they?

**Ms. Dong's Paternalism is Growing Stronger**.

Firstly, regarding Meng Yu Tong’s resignation, if Meng Yu Tong has engaged in any actions that violate the contracts signed with Gree, Gree can entirely safeguard its rights through labor arbitration or legal proceedings. There is no need for Ms. Dong to incessantly dwell on it like an annoying nag.

Secondly, concerning the idea of employees paying training fees when switching jobs, it is not an unworkable concept, but it depends on the specific circumstances. Not all employees who change jobs need to pay corresponding training fees. To the best of my knowledge, some companies provide costly training for certain employees they heavily invest in. These companies may also sign agreements with employees. For instance, if an employee accepts such training, they must serve the company for N years. If they resign before fulfilling this term, they are required to pay a specified fee to the company, as stipulated in the agreement.

Because you worked for me for over a decade, I nurtured you, invested so much financial and human resources, as well as time. If you leave and move on to the next company, you should at least compensate me for the training expenses.

However, I cannot fully agree with the statement made by Ms. Dong in the paragraph above.

An employee who has worked for a company for over a decade has undoubtedly received significant training from the company. The issue is that during this period, the employee has also made substantial contributions to the company. Otherwise, how could they have stayed with the company for such a long time?

Furthermore, should Ms. Dong pay a certain training fee to the previous employers of those individuals who switched from other companies to Gree? I believe Gree did not pay anything in this regard previously.

What’s more self-centered is not the employees but business leaders like Ms. Dong.

Business leaders similar to Ms. Dong tend to become more self-centered as they age. They are more likely to believe that the company’s achievements are solely due to their efforts, rather than acknowledging that the current success is the result of the collective efforts of both employees and the company.

**Capitalists Want to Be Slave Owners, Labor Contracts Turn into Indentures, Workers Have to Pay to Leave...**

Capitalism is truly terrifying, and domestic capitalists are even more so. If this isn’t addressed, is there any justice left?

The Ugly Face of Capitalists

I can’t stand the faces of these capitalists. They constantly call on young people to be grateful and dedicated. But can you guess how much Ms. Dong Mingzhu, the former state-owned enterprise executive, is worth:

In 2021, there were reports that it reached 4.6 billion.

I wonder, when this former state-owned enterprise boss earned tens of billions in wealth, was she “self-centered,” “centered on the nation,” or “centered on the employees”?

With a fortune that could last several lifetimes, did she really rely on that meager salary?

Miss Dong keeps making snide remarks about her assistant, who earns a monthly salary of only a few thousand yuan, and promoting a vice president who shamelessly flatters her in front of the camera. Now she’s brainwashing young people.

Do young people have to put your tens of billions in value above themselves?

The ugly faces of capitalists, constantly suppressing young people unilaterally, they are beneficiaries of the times and, to some extent, exploiters and profiteers, exploiting the surplus value of countless laborers.

These people can still speak out recklessly in the public opinion arena, and even fail to receive mainstream criticism. This atmosphere is too absurd; we are too tolerant of capitalists and vested interests.

Many people are still empathizing with Dong Mingzhu, thinking that she said these things because she had raised an “ungrateful” apprentice like Meng Yutong, and that she is a honest and amiable middle-aged superior who has encountered the story of a young rebellious subordinate betraying the farmer and the snake.

But the reality may be just the opposite. Dong Mingzhu, who came from a sales background, is shrewd and calculating, and has come up from the darkest side of the front line. Her experience and city government far surpass ordinary people.

I even suspect that on the first day she took the initiative to promote Meng Yutong, she had already thought about Meng Yutong’s departure and the countermeasures.

In a mature company, everyone is a screw that can be replaced at any time. When the CEO falls, the vice president takes over; when the vice president rises to the manager, there are backup plans, especially in personnel matters, there are plenty of plan B.

While Meng Yutong was there, she used her to create an image of Gree that attracts young people and the image of the CEO’s “mentoring the younger generation” in various ways, saving a lot of money on marketing expenses.

When Meng left, she continued to mention it on various occasions, using up the last bit of influence.

In terms of public opinion and marketing, even though Meng Yutong is an internet celebrity, she is still too naive in front of Miss Dong.

The ideals advocated by Dong Mingzhu, strictly speaking, are not considered capitalism. In capitalist society, they emphasize “contracts.”

Dong’s ideas are more akin to feudalism, wanting to return to a “personal dependence relationship,” the relationship between the dominator and the dominated.

People like this, and such statements, will sooner or later be swept into the dustbin of history.

Outdated Management Ideology and Social Challenges

Dong, you’re still managing young people with the outdated mindset of the older generation.

From your assessment of Meng Yutong, it’s evident that I provided you with opportunities and a platform. Yet, you perceive it as her “betrayal.” In your eyes, she’s “disloyal and unjust.”

Meng Yutong, a middle-class child, chose to go solo in her career. Let’s not talk about emotions or moral obligations; it’s about money. Stop with the PUA tactics.

Young people refuse to accept certain basic positions, and you label them as having lofty aspirations, avoiding hardships.

Society places all the pressure on young people, but then blames them for having poor psychological resilience.

Sometimes, just looking at contemporary young people, I find it challenging. You’re only born a bit later than others, yet you have to endure the hardships of life. You don’t benefit from the era, you have no hope of changing the world, and in the end, you face criticism and blame. But what have you done wrong?

You even suggest legislating training fees for employees who switch jobs, claiming that young people shouldn’t be self-centered. So, who should they center on? Their leaders?

“When my grandfather was young, it was all about hard work from dawn to dusk. When my father was young, it was all about being diligent and capable. Our generation, when we were young, it’s all about being idle and mediocre.”

This is indeed a surreal world.

When every square on the Monopoly board is owned by a player, others start losing money with each step, bankruptcy is only a matter of time. This means the game is over, and it’s time to restart.

Even if the winner forces others to continue playing, they won’t want to.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of young college and graduate students are delivering food and running errands, and yet, they say young people lack ambition.

In the end, they just come out and say it: We want young people to work in factories and pay to do so.

The increasing wealth gap in modern society, whether in cities or the countryside, is a significant factor intensifying public resentment. In a highly competitive society, people face various forms of competition, including in work, education, and marriage.

Conflicts and contradictions in daily life and work have led people to lose trust and tolerance for others, and resentment has gradually spread.

In today’s society, what happens when good people are eliminated?

Let’s take hailing a taxi as an example. Everyone rushes to the car without queuing, causing inefficiency when the vehicle arrives. The result: no one benefits.

To get a cab, everyone stands in the middle of the road to flag one down. This leads to more and more people on the road, occupying most of the lanes, causing traffic congestion, and slowing down everyone’s journey.

The final result is a standoff, where no one gives way to each other, no longer accommodates others, no longer believes in justice, and everyone becomes guarded and insecure.

This leads to a situation where societal efficiency significantly decreases, and economic efficiency takes a hit.

If hard work could lead to wealth, then farmers would be the world’s wealthiest first and foremost.

Many people are feeling the increasing cost of living and the growing pressure, forcing them to work overtime and desperately seek a meager income.

Long hours and mental stress can lead to emotional depression, reduced tolerance, increased irritability, and a change in attitude toward others.

People accumulate more and more dissatisfaction and anger toward unfairness in reality, making it easier for their emotions to explode.

As Lu Xun said, “If animals get fat by eating, they must have parasites in their bellies; if the people are diligent but cannot get rich, there must be vampires in that society.”

At any time, effort has its value for individuals, but to what extent it can bring about change and personal growth is uncertain.

But what about the results of our efforts? Can we truly achieve a “one-to-one” correlation between effort and reward?

Education, healthcare, and housing prices have all risen, making life unbearable for many ordinary people.

In the past decade, rapid urbanization has concentrated the population in large cities, leading to land scarcity and a housing demand that surpasses supply.

With soaring housing prices, ordinary people face immense pressure and distress in buying homes.

The government is in debt, companies are borrowing, and people are using all their resources to buy property. The economy seems vibrant, but it’s effectively eating into the savings of future generations.

Lowering interest rates was intended to encourage eligible families to buy homes, but it resulted in early repayments.

Raising the retirement age aimed to alleviate the shortage of social security funds, but many young people stopped contributing.

The relaxation of the one-child policy was meant to encourage childbirth, but each year, the population experiences negative growth.

As these issues persist, pent-up frustration and anger grow, leading to escalating resentment.

Stagnant wages paired with rising prices erode purchasing power, increasing the cost of living. Many people have to cut expenses to make ends meet.

In the pursuit of material success, people often lose patience and tolerance, displaying hostility.

A very cruel truth: 99% of people come into this world just to fill the numbers, to serve as society’s gears, as a redundancy for social development.

The cruelest reality in this world is that 99% of diligent but low-educated poor people feed the 1% who enjoy the fruits of their labor.

These 99% are just here to make up the numbers; they serve as gears to keep society running, helping the 1% live better and attain various forms of freedom.

The core contradiction is that young people don’t see hope in their struggle and are afraid to lie down.

Many people have told me that life is becoming increasingly meaningless, and things are not progressing as they had hoped.

Nowadays, people’s lives are reduced to empty shells, carrying various identities, living not for themselves but as cogs in society. It’s a realization that people thought everyone lived the same way, only to discover one day that the gap between individuals is greater than that between humans and dogs.

The ancients said, “Thirty is the age of standing on one’s own feet.”

For most ordinary people in our country, “thirty” means kneeling.

I suggest reducing unnecessary expenses, expanding your knowledge, and making yourself stronger.

Surviving in this world requires adjusting your mindset, and there are many beautiful moments in life.

We were taught from a young age that the meaning of life is to be a useful member of society, not to trouble others.

To be useful is to have a meaningful life; otherwise, it’s meaningless.

This definition has been forcibly imposed on us, and I’m skeptical of it now.

What does it mean to be useful? What does it mean to be useless? What kind of person is useful? What kind of person is useless?

Why should we work so hard, especially when we’re young? Is it to fulfill our society’s definition of being “useful”?

But this leads to a paradox:

The reality is that besides the necessities of life, everything else is optional. Overworking to the point of overextending your life, the more you do it, the longer you do it, the more you realize that the very idea of “usefulness” itself is “useless.” Life’s meaning becomes increasingly elusive, and you

Capitalists do not care about workers or their growth as much as entrepreneurs like Ms. Dong Mingzhu, a representative of the people's enterprise, do!!! In today's society, can you find a boss who cares more about workers than Ms. Dong Mingzhu, the entrepreneur of the people's enterprise?

1 After Meng Yutong resigned, Dong Mingzhu publicly expressed dissatisfaction multiple times. Dong Mingzhu hoped that Meng Yutong would take less salary and grow healthily. According to Gree Electric’s annual report, Dong Mingzhu had a 2022 salary of 11.42 million RMB (pre-tax), owned 44.488492 million shares, and received a dividend of 3 RMB per share in 2022, resulting in an annual income of over 100 million RMB. Meng Yutong earned less than 10,000 RMB per month while working at Gree.

2 When Dong Mingzhu, as a representative, attended the group meeting of the Zhuhai Ninth People’s Congress First Session, she was asked about the issue of forcing Gree employees to buy Gree phones. Dong Mingzhu immediately responded, “We let employees experience it first, and if others say I’m forcing employees to use my phone, I’ll just say, so what if I force them? You are my employees; why wouldn’t you use my phone? If you don’t have confidence in your own products, why should the market recognize them?” Employees said that their one-month salary was not enough to buy a Gree phone, and they would be dismissed if they didn’t purchase one.

3 Dong Mingzhu suggested legislating training fees for employees switching jobs. Dong Mingzhu is constantly concerned about the growth of her employees.

With such a situation, it’s really hard to say how many talents will be scared away.

Ever since Meng Yutong left, Dong Mingzhu has “called out” multiple times, and it always feels like there’s a lingering issue.

Following this logic, did Dong Mingzhu compensate her previous employer when she switched jobs?

Employees merely signed labor contracts with the company, not indentured themselves, so how did it turn into a situation where they have to pay training fees when changing jobs?

We all go to work to earn a living, so how did it become a situation where employees are the ones bearing the costs?

In the past, companies used to motivate employees by providing housing, so employees treated the company like their home.

Nowadays, companies are squeezing employees to the point of complaining about salaries and even charging employees for training fees when they change jobs.

Looking at the situation with Meng Yutong, I wonder if it has had an impact on Mr. Dong’s mentality.

Otherwise, as a business tycoon, as a boss, as a celebrity of the internet age, there should be no need to repeatedly bring up this matter for criticism.

Employees became internet celebrities on Gree’s platform, and then they decided to go solo. The company felt its reputation was at stake, which led to this passive-aggressive behavior?

This is fundamentally not what an entrepreneur should be focusing on.

Either there should be non-compete agreements in place that prevent all employees from using the company platform to become internet celebrities.

Or, standardize corporate systems, provide employees with compensation that meets their expectations, and retain loyal personnel.

Effective management is crucial, rather than being caught up in the constant frenzy of the internet. It’s just not necessary.

As for the legislative proposal by Mr. Dong to charge employees for training when they change jobs.

Whether we, as bottom-tier office workers, agree with it or not is not important. What matters is how Mr. Dong handled it himself.

During my undergraduate days, the dormitory initially had a lights-out time at 10:30.

The reason was to prevent night owls from disturbing other students' rest.

It sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

But the reality was that in our dormitory of eight people, seven were night owls, and there was only one early riser.

At first, we all followed the rules and turned the lights out on time.

After a while, we realized that no one was really enforcing it, so we became bolder.

The lights still went out, but all seven computers were running, engaged in networked battles in StarCraft.

The only early sleeper among us wasn’t pleased; he claimed that we were too noisy and disrupting his sleep, threatening to report us.

To avoid making a fuss, we complied that day and reluctantly went to sleep.

The next day, with the craving for gaming still strong, we wanted to play again.

So, before lights out, I suggested that everyone buy instant noodles, the spiciest flavor available.

We prepared the noodles, and all seven of us opened the lids together.

The entire room was instantly filled with the aroma of spicy beef noodles.

The early sleeper had already laid down, but when he smelled the fragrance, he got hungry and sat up, asking what we were eating so late at night.

I said it’s a late-night snack; if you want some, there’s one more bowl, you can make it yourself.

Finally, he couldn’t resist the temptation, so he got up and made instant noodles.

By the time the noodles were ready, it was time for lights out.

But how can you eat in the dark?

So, I casually suggested, why don’t we play a game first? The computers are on, which will provide some light for you.

The early sleeper didn’t hesitate and agreed willingly.

While he was eating, we were engrossed in our intense game.

He leaned against the railing and asked me how much the noodles cost and said he would repay me.

I said, “What’s with the money? I’m treating you. If it’s affecting your sleep, consider it compensation.” In the end, he didn’t insist on paying.

They say people become short-sighted when it comes to food. Now, the early sleeper didn’t feel comfortable complaining anymore and slept near the wall.

Later on, we had late-night snacks every few days, and we’d get one for him as well.

Before long, the early sleeper stopped going to bed early and happily joined the late-night gaming sessions, becoming the most active participant.

But we didn’t play for long; the school realized that enforcing lights-out was becoming difficult, so they resorted to a drastic measure: cutting off the power at the designated time.

The early sleeper was the first to protest, yelling, “Why should we accept this?” and grabbing a toolkit to head out into the corridor.

We helped him set up tables and chairs, and he climbed up to unscrew the light bulbs, using his adept electrical skills to pull an extension cord into the dormitory.

With a bit of light, we could play happily again.

The power of a role model is limitless, and other dormitories followed suit. Lights-out became a thing of the past.

Later, I don’t know what the school was thinking, but they finally abolished the rule.

Subsequent generations of students never experienced lights-out.

Why is it that seemingly powerful schools can’t compete with us, the disadvantaged students?

In reality, they didn’t lose to us; they lost to an invisible hand.

This is a classic application of Coase’s Theorem.

Coase stated that as long as property rights are clear, transaction (negotiation) costs approach zero, then regardless of how initial rules are set, market allocation will eventually reach Pareto optimality.

That is, maximizing overall benefit without causing harm to any party.

The school required lights-out to avoid disturbing students' sleep.

However, the value of sleep varies for each person.

For night owls like us, early sleep means missing out on gaming, which has a negative value.

For the early sleeper, although sleep is valuable, it’s not as valuable as a pack of instant noodles, as proven in practice.

In this way, I could compensate him for his loss with a pack of noodles.

He didn’t lose out, we gained, and in the end, both parties achieved Pareto optimality.

With everything optimized, who cares about the rules?

Suggesting legislation to charge employees for training fees is akin to setting rules for lights-out in the dormitory.

You can certainly make such rules, but since it’s a free market, both labor and management will act according to market dynamics.

Through negotiation and compromise, they will eventually reach Pareto optimality.

Some people may prefer stability and are willing to sign even if you charge training fees, as the cost to them is minimal, and they get a low compensation.

Others prioritize career development, and the cost of training fees is too high for them. They won’t sign and will seek employment elsewhere without such fees.

Even if you enforce training fees, the market will drive most companies to set the fee at zero, just as a symbolic gesture.

You can’t fix the exact amount of training fees, can you?

That would bring us back to planned economies and central allocation.

Even if you agree, the country might not.

Regarding planned economies and market economies, there are many interesting principles to explore.

Due to space limitations, we’ll delve into them gradually in the future. Those interested can follow along.

Anyway, you probably won’t read this far, so liking this would be enough…